The Xbox 360 exclusive Lost Odyssey may be a beacon of hope for the console's anemic Japanese user base, but that success will come at a price -- your eyes. According to Lost Odyssey architect Hironobu Sakaguchi, the upcoming plot-heavy RPG will feature several "1000 Year Dream" sequences, 34 to be precise, each designed to flesh out the narrative penned by Japanese author Kiyoshi Shigematsu; and each told not through cut scenes, but rather with pop-up text, taking upwards of 5 to 10 minutes to read.
Sakaguchi admits that he once entertained the idea of using voice overs for the sequences, but opted instead to make the player experience Shigematsu's work in its 'purest form', namely written word. You mean, we have to read?! The idea of spending 4 or more hours scrolling through text on the screen is not our idea of fun, and we immediately feel sympathy for those players without bionic vision, or just those playing on smaller than average sets.
We'd like to think that there's a method to Sakaguchi's madness, though his admission that Lost Odyssey will clock in at 40 hours, with 20 of these devoted to non-interactive story sequences, seems to stretch the boundaries of what can be considered a game, rather than just an interactive storybook. Nevertheless, Japanese Xbox 360 owners can pick up Lost Odyssey on December 6, while those in North America and Europe will have to wait until February to go blind.